I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since I had my weekend in London for my first time at Food Blogger Connect! You can read all about my Caledonian sleeper train experience here.
FBC15 was held at Chiswick House and Gardens – somewhere I went on a field trip to at university more than 10 years ago (!) and somewhere I spent many a Sunday afternoon walking dogs with a friend who lived nearby. Unfortunately I didn’t get opportunity to step inside the house this time as the conference was held outside (fortunately we had good weather!) in the beautiful parkland.
FBC is a three day conference focusing on the ins and outs of blogging and having time to network whilst enjoying some delicious food and drink. I had booked up early to take advantage of the early bird discount with Kathryn from Ginger Lemon and Spice, who I managed to spot before the conference started! In some ways I found it a little bit like being the new kid joining a school – plucking up the courage to talk to people who knew each other I found really daunting for some reason, particularly as I was also putting names and faces to blog titles for the first time, but I found a couple of familar faces in Kathryn and also Jac from Tinned Tomatoes who I met about 4 years ago at the first meeting of Fife Baking Club!
Today I will be reporting on the programme of events and seminars. I’ve got lots of pages of scribbled notes and reminders to work my way through in the next few months; from thinking about tax implications for my blog (I’m not making a sustainable income but I am receiving products to keep which qualify as items I need to declare), to setting up analytics for my blog, to making better connections with other bloggers and social media platforms, to thinking about my writing and photography style for my blog! There was so much to take in but here are some highlights:
- The food styling photography lab was fascinating. Three experts ran through a typical food shoot and gave us the opportunity to ask questions, and importantly take photos!
- Another highlight was hearing Sophie Grigson speak about recipe writing. She even got us on a creative writing exercise to describe how we would make cheese on toast (it sounds a bizarre thing to do but it was an excellent way to think about how we all have our unique writing styles and voices).
- Another highlight was hearing Claudia Roden speak about her life researching food. I have to confess I wasn’t too familiar with all of Claudia’s work, it was amazing hearing all of her stories and how she engages with people to learn more about the culture of food!
- Urvashi Roe’s lab on how to plan content and avoid blogger burnout was my final seminar of the event and it was infinitely useful to think about how I plan my posts, what I write, who I write for and why I write!
To take home, I also had a goodie bag filled with various samples and foodie items to enjoy!
Of course it wasn’t just all work though, there’ll be another post next week that might leave you salivating at all the wonderful dishes I tried at the FBC StrEAT Parties!